Begin the Burn…

Tonight, as we stood in line at the brightly lit local convenient store, Elihu asked me if it was ‘technically still summer’. I guess I’d been thinking this recent coldish air was just a passing thing; somewhere on board I still had last-minute summer-ish plans for us. There must be another spell of heat coming again…right? His question had me take immediate stock; just what was the date today? The 19th? ‘I guess fall officially starts tomorrow’ I answered. No one corrected me. Later, at home, when I googled for accuracy, I learned that it actually starts on the 23rd – a number that puzzles me as I don’t ever remember anything but the 20th heralding a new season. (Just me? Who knows. Like my son, I feel like I miss half of what every other earth citizen seems to have an inbred knowledge of.) Aah well. No matter, in a few days it will indeed be fall.

The morning temps in our small house are dipping into the 50s now, and I find myself wondering when exactly do ‘most’ folks turn on their furnaces? Until this present country life all I knew was that I adjusted the thermostat and the house became more comfortable. Now, knowing that the oil in our tank is an emergency delivery from the state delivered last spring, and one which will not allow us another fill-up for months, I am not close to engaging the furnace. Rather, we use the small electric heaters to take the edge off of certain spots in the early morning; Elihu’s bedroom (mine dips down to the mid 50s – but I’m back to long underwear so it’s bearable) then the kitchen, if we eat there at all. Sometimes it’s just easier to eat in his bedroom, huddled around the heater at his little desk. Not so bleak as it sounds – it’s actually kinda cozy. I’m apprehensive however as to how it will look on our bill. It’s been awhile since we’ve used these little juice suckers.

Elihu played his first ever game of soccer today – his first ever day of a shared sport of any kind except for at gym (this warrants an entire post of its own) and I felt the chill closing in as soon as the sun sank below the tree line. All the other kids were wearing only T shirts, but my kid, I’d put him in three layers in anticipation of just such a drop in temperature. At first I’d felt guilty as so many kids had sweat-plastered hair on their brows, but by the end of the game I felt better about my choice. He too felt the cold and was glad for the extra layers.

When I step outside I can now smell the scent of firewood in the air – a sure sign my neighbors have begun the long winter’s burn of those carefully stacked cords of wood. The blue plastic tarps have been peeled back, the plywood lean-tos no longer filled quite to the top… Summer has a few days left, yet already the burn has begun.

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